Interactive Works and Gameplay Emotions

Jonathan FROME

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
118 Downloads (Pure)


Video games differ from films, books, and other mainstream media both in their interactive capabilities and in their affordances for gameplay. Interactivity and gameplay are closely related, as interactivity is necessary for gameplay. Unfortunately, this close relationship has led many video game scholars to conflate these two concepts when discussing player experience. In this article, I argue that, when discussing emotional responses to video games, gameplay and interactivity should be understood as distinct concepts: Gameplay involves both interactive and noninteractive elements, and interactive works do not always involve gameplay. I propose that there are significant drawbacks to overlooking this distinction and that highlighting it is important for understanding player experience, player emotion, and the ways video games differ from other entertainment media.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)856-874
Number of pages19
JournalGames and Culture
Issue number7-8
Early online date27 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • interactivity
  • emotion
  • videogame
  • game
  • gameplay
  • video game


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